Archive for April, 2010

Two accused in area smash-and-grab burglaries

*published Apr 29, 2010

BY VANESSA C. DEGGINS

Calcasieu Parish authorities have arrested one man and are looking for another they say committed up to 11 smash-and-grab burglaries throughout the parish.

David St. Germain, 45, of Sulphur, was charged with four counts each of burglary, theft and property damage and one count of possession of stolen property.

Sheriff’s Office officials said St. Germain’s DNA was found at the scenes of three of the burglaries and that he took part in the burglary of a residence in Sulphur.

The break-ins reportedly took place between Dec. 24 and Feb. 6. Investigators believe the crimes stopped when the men were both arrested for other offenses.

St. Germain is in jail in West Feliciana Parish for another smash-and-grab burglary and will be brought to Calcasieu Parish after completing his sentence, said Sheriff Tony Mancuso.

He said St. Germain has more than 30 arrests and has been incarcerated 27 times for drug, burglary and theft charges.

Detectives are also looking for 36-year-old Charles Matthew Garrett, a native of Jackson, Tenn., who lived in Sulphur during the time of the burglaries.

He is described as a 6-foot-4, 225-pound white male, and he goes by the nickname “Tennessee.” He may have fled back to his home state, authorities said.

At a Feb. 5 news conference, Mancuso said the men stole trucks and used them to commit burglaries.

“During this time, business owners were saying they were staying at their stores to guard,” Mancuso said. “Our concern was someone was going to get hurt, so we’re pleased to bring this to an end.”

Two stores in Sulphur and Carlyss were burglarized twice.

TO SEE FOOTAGE FROM THREE OF THREE OF THE STORES, CLICK HERE.

The men reportedly rammed the front doors with a truck or broke them open with a sledgehammer.

Detectives believe the men, who caused $500,000 in damage, purposely targeted stores in rural areas.

Mancuso said detectives used mathematical formulas and incident details to develop a pattern and set up surveillance.

“We believe this led to deputies spotting them leaving a burglary in Sulphur,” he said. A chase took place, but the men escaped, Mancuso said.

“As sheriff I’ll try anything and I’ll admit I was a little skeptical when we started, but (this crime analysis method) is a tool that has been proven now. We’ll definitely continue to use it.”

If you have any information on these crimes, call Crime Stoppers at 439-2222.

link: http://bit.ly/cxiqtN

April 29, 2010 at 7:33 pm

LC North board open for business

BY VANESSA C. DEGGINS

About 20 residents, along with local officials, were on hand Monday for the first meeting of the Lake Charles North Redevelopment Board.

The board comprises Willie King, chairman; John Allen Jenkins, vice chairman; Debra Guillory, secretary; and members Kathleen Dorsey Bellow and Rick Richard.

Terry Manuel with the Calcasieu Parish District Attorney’s Office will service as legal counsel.

Proposed bylaws were distributed to residents in attendance, and city and parish officials spoke about the endeavor.

Mayor Randy Roach said city officials were already working on ideas for proposed development in the area.

“We’re anxious to work with you, and we see this as an opportunity to work with you the same way we do with the Downtown Development Authority,” Roach said.

George Swift, head of the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance, said marketing data and information on vacant properties had been compiled.

“Despite the national economic downturn, we’re very fortunate to be in the shape we’re in,” Swift said.

State Rep. A.B. Franklin, who had proposed the legislation to form the board multiple times, said the most important aspect would be multiple agencies working together.

“Things won’t change overnight, but if we keep working together, things will move forward and we will get businesses in the area,” he said.

He said he is in contact with members of the East Baton Rouge development authority to learn what works in other areas.

The board will be based on the ninth floor of City Hall; equipment was purchased with a grant from the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury.

Residents in attendance applauded the effort of board members, with many saying they plan to attend every meeting.

Lois Malveaux said she is for economic development in north Lake Charles but does not want to see the area become gentrified.

Malveaux, along with other residents, had opposed the legislation, mainly because of an imminent domain clause, which is still in place.

“Any businesses they build should be to benefit the residents that are currently living there,” Malveaux said. “We won’t be for anything that will move people out of the area.”

link: http://bit.ly/9bjq6A

April 27, 2010 at 7:19 pm

Fourteen-month drug ring investigation nets 10 arrests

Task Force still on lookout for four
BY VANESSA C. DEGGINS

A 14-month investigation into drug activity in the DeQuincy area ended Monday morning as members of the Combined Anti-Drug Task Force arrested 10 people.

CAT director Billy Chapman described Terry Holmes, 35, of 405 Booker St. in DeQuincy, as the ring leader and the area’s main supplier of crack. Holmes was charged with two counts of cocaine distribution, and his bond was set at $500,000.

Calcasieu Parish District Attorney John DeRosier said authorities are trying to seize Holmes’ assets, which include a home and a laundromat. Others arrested (all are from DeQuincy unless noted):
Darius M. Armstead, 20, 1103 Truth St. — two counts of cocaine distribution; $100,000 bond. Armstead was in the Calcasieu Correctional Center on other charges. Willie Recard Jr., 22, 808 Paul Robertson Road — one count of cocaine distribution; $25,000 bond. Eldridge J. “E.J.” Smith, 42, 738 Roland Patillo Road — two counts of cocaine distribution; $50,000 bond. Willie G. “June” Snell Jr., 39, 773 Douglas Road — one count each of distribution of cocaine and methamphetamine; $350,000 bond. Joshua E. Rock, 23, 1010 West St. — one count of cocaine distribution; $40,000 bond. Norris L. Williams, 60, 814 Paul Roberston Road — two counts of cocaine distribution; $50,000 bond. Japheal J. Griffin, 18, 106 Jefferson St. — theft; $5,000 bond. Griffin was in the parish jail on other charges. Jimmy E. Hardy, 45, 1601 W. Fourth St. — one count of cocaine distribution; $50,000 bond. James L. Brock, 54, 151 Big Woods Road, Starks — three counts of cocaine distribution.

Calcasieu Sheriff Tony Mancuso said the investigation was launched after a community meeting in which DeQuincy City Council members and residents voiced their concern about drug activity in the city. With information from residents, CAT members began making undercover drug buys to identify the people who sold drugs for Holmes.

DeRosier said Holmes’ case will be presented to the U.S. attorney in hopes of taking the case to federal court. Police are still looking for four men:
Christopher J. Alfred, 23, 1109 Banneker St. — one count of cocaine distribution. Joshua E. Brooks, 20, 223 Logan Lane — three counts of cocaine distribution. He is also wanted as a suspect in a series of home invasions in south Lake Charles. Timothy Bushnell, 23, 1108 Allen St. — two counts of cocaine distribution. Matthew O. Estelle, 24, 207 Jefferson St. — two counts of cocaine distribution.

Anyone with information on the men can call Crime Stoppers at 439-2222 or the CAT tip line at 491-1511. DeRosier said he will prosecute anyone who harbors the men.

Mancuso said that during the investigation, detectives also learned about a theft ring and distributors of methamphetamine and illegal prescription pills.

“This investigation has come to a conclusion, but we’re not finished here in DeQuincy,” Mancuso said. “We have a few more operations that have stemmed from this one.”

link: http://bit.ly/aeGJw1

April 27, 2010 at 7:14 pm

Experts: Health must improve for pregnancy

*published Apr 26, 2010
OBGYN, nurse say poor habits put mothers, fetuses at risk
BY VANESSA C. DEGGINS

A recent study by Amnesty International found that two to three women in the U.S. die each day from pregnancyrelated complications, and about half of those deaths are preventable.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 1987 there were 6.6 deaths for every 100,000 live births in the U.S.

In 1998, the CDC launched the Healthy People 2010 initiative to get that number down to 4.3, but by 2006, the number had jumped to 13.3 deaths per 100,000 live births.

Louisiana is 46th in the nation in pregnancy-related fatalities, with an average of 15.8 deaths per 100,000 live births.

Some of the contributing factors in these deaths are inadequate prenatal care, an increase in the number of cesarean sections and an increase in the obesity rate.

Dr. William Groves, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, said it’s sometimes hard to identify a single cause.

“Unfortunately, across the board, people are being less active and less healthy,” Groves said.

A 2008 study by CalorieLab named Louisiana the fourthfatest state in the nation, with 29.5 percent of its adult population listed as obese, according to the Body Mass Index.

For a woman with a normal BMI, average weight gain during pregnancy should be 25 to 30 pounds. For a woman considered overweight, they should only gain 15 to 25 pounds. If the woman is considered obese before becoming pregnant, Groves said they can gain 0 to 15 pounds.

Groves said with c-sections there are risks of blood clots, post-operation infection and hemorrhaging, all of which are exacerbated when the person is overweight.

“Other health problems that can develop are high blood pressure and diabetes,” Groves said.

“Patients used to be more concerned, but now I think we have the mindset that there is a pill for everything,” Groves said. “Medicine is fine, but it’s always better to deal with the root of the problem.”

An upsetting trend Groves said he’s seen is women smoking during pregnancy.

“Many will say, ‘Most of the my friends kept smoking through their pregnancy,’ or ‘I smoked during my last pregnancy,’ and I tell them you’re still increasing the chance of complications and you may not be so lucky a second time,” Groves said.

Smoking increases the chance of blood clots and can cause preterm deliveries.

Groves said the main issue is taking care of these things before becoming pregnant.

“Every study I’ve seen shows that women who develop healthy habits before pregnancy will continue that during and after pregnancy,” Groves said. “This is one of the gaps in health care I see most often.”

“The health of a mother is inextricably linked to the health of her baby,” said Nancy Roach, a registered nurse with the Region 5 Office of Public Health.

About half of pregnancies are unplanned, according to OPM, and the first 17 to 54 days are the most important in a fetus’ development, but most women don’t know until 4-8 weeks after conception.


On the Web: National Institutes of Health Body Mass Index Calculator: http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/
http://www.thestorkreality.com

link: http://bit.ly/dukAaG

April 26, 2010 at 7:11 pm

Agencies focus on sex offenders, crime victims

*published Apr 25, 2010
Counseling available; police track offenders
BY VANESSA C. DEGGINS

Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Scott Miller performs a compliance check on a registered sex offender at a home in Moss Bluff. BY VANESSA C. DEGGINS

According to a national survey, about one out of every eight women in Louisiana have been raped.

The total state rape count, compiled by the 2004 National Violence Against Women Survey, of 225,000 is considered to be conservative because it does not include women who have been victims of an attempted rape or alcohol or drug facilitated sexual assault.

In Calcasieu Parish, in which about 70,000 women live, more than 9,100 women are rape victims.

Help for victims
In Southwest Louisiana, Rape Crisis Outreach offers community outreach and education, counseling and trained advocates to help rape victims cope.

“We have advocates available 24 hours a day to meet victims at the hospital or accompany them when talking to law enforcement and courtroom procedures,” said Nina Delome, program director.

Delome stressed that the agency offers services to past victims of sexual assault and the families of victims.

“We’ve had people come in 30 years after the incident,” Delome said. “It was such a taboo subject back then (the time of the assault).”

Delome said there is a ripple effect that comes with sexual assault — there is trauma not only for the victims, but also the people around them.

Delome believes media attention and better training for law enforcers has encouraged more victims to report sexual assaults and to seek help.

Delome offered tips for parents to keep their children safe.

“Do not be afraid to hover. Parents have to be constantly aware,” Delome said. “There are other people watching children, and they don’t have their best interests at heart.”

Delome said some parents develop a false of sense of security when they check the online sex offender registry to see how many live nearby.

“I always tell them, ‘You don’t know where the ones who haven’t been caught are,’” Delome said.

She also encouraged parents to be aware of the environments their children are in.

“Do you know (your) children’s friends’ parents share your values?” Delome asked. “When they go to that house, you are sending your child into an environment that you have no control over. It’s important that other parents understand what you consider acceptable and unacceptable for a child.”

Tracking sex offenders
As of April 22, there were 417 registered sex offenders in Calcasieu Parish. The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office monitors them with the Compliance and Awareness Program, or CAP, Unit.

A convicted sex offender is required to register with local law enforcement in their city of residence and employment.

“If a person works in Beauregard Parish, but lives in Calcasieu Parish, they would have to register with both of us,” said Sgt. Scott Miller.

Miller said registered sex offenders have to list their current address, place of employment, vehicles’ descriptions and any e-mail addresses they have. They are also required to have a special driver’s license that lists them as registered sex offenders with them at all times.

Some restrictions can include not being allowed around children, access to social networking web sites or to live within a certain distance of schools.

The main task for Miller and other deputies in the CAP Unit is to make sure all of the information stays current by physically verifying the residences of offenders.

The American Press rode along with Sgt. Miller one morning as he verified addresses of sex offenders in the Moss Bluff area.

“Address verification is done by the tier a registered sex offender has been placed in according to their crime,” Miller said.

The tier system is based on the severity of the sex crime and was established by the federal Adam Walsh Act. A tier one crime is carnal knowledge or indecent behavior; tier two is molestation; and tier three is aggravated rape, incest and forcible rape.

Tiers two and three are checked once a month, and tier one offenders are checked every three months.

Each check is logged in the offender’s file in CPSO’s WatchSystems database.

At each home, they confirm the person’s residency, vehicle type and that they have a sex offender identification card.

For those who are not home, Miller leaves a card with contact information.

“When they register, they’re told (that) when we leave a card, you need to call back,” Miller said. “If they don’t comply, they learn pretty quick.”

link: http://bit.ly/d7RdUP

April 25, 2010 at 7:03 pm

Spotting traits of a pedophile: what parents need to look for

*published Apr 25, 2010
BY VANESSA C. DEGGINS

When it comes to protecting children, parents can’t be concerned about being too cautious about the people around them.

That message is from, Michael Monic, a licensed professional counselor in Jennings who has counseled sexual abuse victims and perpetrators.

“I think people are becoming more aware of sexual violence against children and are more willing to report it, and the number of crimes is increasing at the same time, mainly because of exposure to unhealthy sexual material and the anonymity of being online, ” Monic said.

He touted the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office’s Compliance and Awareness Program because required registration and accountability have proved effective in keeping convicted abusers from re-offending.

Monic said the medical definition of a pedophile is a person with an attraction to prepubescent children. The causes behind the tendency vary, and Monic stressed that not all victims of sexual abuse go on to abuse others.

Monic said there are no specific physical traits to pedophiles and they may be employed in a wide range of occupations.

“It may be a person who volunteers for groups that focus on children, but they have no children in the group,” Monic said.

Monic said they may also have some manipulative behaviors, such as being superficially charming or being pathological liars.

Some of these traits are used by pedophiles to “groom” families before they start offending, said Nina Delome with Rape Crisis Outreach.

Grooming is fostering a sense of trust with the family, making a parent more likely to not pay attention to inappropriate behavior.

“It may just start with the person making themselves available, talking to the parent, empathizing with their problems or stresses,” Delome said.

She said it eventually escalates to a romantic situation, with the offender being around more, fostering a sense of trust and dependency with the parent.

“This is when the offender begins to gauge how far they can go with the child — to see how outspoken the child is or to desensitize them to inappropriate behavior,” Delome said.

She also said “its seems that some pedophiles have this sixth sense for seeking out parents who are survivors of sexual abuse themselves. That parent is more likely to ignore inappropriate behaviors because in dealing with their child’s sexual abuse, they have to deal with their own.”

Other signs of a pedophile include their possession of child-adult pornography and an attraction to parents, especially single mothers.

link: http://bit.ly/cRuGBw

April 25, 2010 at 4:37 pm

Apr. 22 1 p.m. – KYKZ

Apr. 22, 2010 1 p.m. broadcast
(click to listen)

April 22, 2010 at 11:16 pm Leave a comment

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